The craft beer craze has hit nearly every state in the country, and the Southwest region is no exception. Check out these microbreweries in Arizona and Nevada that are serving up delicious suds alongside tasty cuisine, have great on-site function space, and, in some cases, adjoin larger gathering places such as a convention center, event venue, or casino hotel.
In 2007, Navy veteran John Peasley founded Grand Canyon Brewing Co. in Williams with the goal of creating a brand that honored the nearby national park. The brewery relocated to a 5-acre campus in 2017 to accommodate a 40-barrel brewhouse, canning line, brewpub, and more. Soon after, a distillery was established on the same campus to craft spirits and whiskeys entirely from Arizona farm-sourced grains and to add canned cocktails to the mix.
Today, Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery also has brewpubs in Flagstaff, Kingman, and Page with large dining rooms, game and recreation areas, patios, and more.
“Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery has four locations across northern Arizona, each offering the perfect space to host your next group event,” says Kristin Neely, regional general manager. “Whether it be the private game room next to our small-batch brewery in Flagstaff or a separate indoor balcony featuring a private bar in our Williams production facility, Grand Canyon is sure to be able to meet your group’s needs.”
Historic Brewing Co. has its Eastside Taproom & Production Facility with event space in Flagstaff and Historic Barrel + Bottlehouse locations in both Flagstaff and Williams. Historic Barrel + Bottlehouse offers delicious beer, craft cocktails, and menus that have a wide variety of options, including gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes. During fair weather, spill out onto the patios for plenty of fresh air.
Phoenix has a thriving craft brewery scene with three prime recommendations for groups provided by Visit Phoenix. “We wanted to share a few of our favorites located in downtown Phoenix that we’ve successfully seen meeting planners enjoy and love while hosting a meeting in our city,” says Corporate Communications Manager Chris Miller.
One of these gems is the Huss Brewing Co. Downtown PHX Brewpub + To Go within the Phoenix Convention Center (PCC). It’s the only major convention center in the country with a craft brewery, allowing attendees to savor an extensive menu of modern-American fare paired with Huss favorites like Copper State IPA, Scottsdale Blonde, and Papago Orange Blossom. The brewpub opened in April 2022 in partnership with Aramark’s Aventura Catering, PCC’s food and beverage affiliate, and has indoor and outdoor seating options, a full bar serving signature cocktails, and the capacity to host groups of up to 150.
“We really like to be flexible and curate specific experiences to different groups,” says General Manager Heather Ferreira. “Since we get a lot of convention business, we do offer beer pairing options with some of our group dining packages. We also feature smaller Meet the Brewer events throughout the year. … It’s limited to 20 people and includes a flight of five beers with three of them paired with a salty, savory, and sweet bite.”
Women own and brew the beer at Greenwood Brewing, part of the Roosevelt Row Arts District in downtown Phoenix. The brewery has two outdoor spaces that can be booked for groups: a courtyard that accommodates 45 and a beer garden for up to 75. A full venue rental includes the main indoor taproom, expanding the capacity to 150. The Greenwood team also offers designated bartenders for an event, private concerts, and brewery tours.
Pedal Haus Brewery, founded eight years ago in Tempe by Julian Wright, artfully combines his passion for craft beer and cycling. Pedal Haus expanded to include locations in Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa and specializes in elevated pub fare and true-to-style beers ranging from Day Drinker Light Lager to the Belgian-style Tripel.
The Phoenix location is part of monOrchid, an event venue in a historic 1937 building that also houses several businesses. This Pedal Haus location has a rooftop patio with plenty of space for private events and an interior space with 25 TVs that are popular with sports fans, while the brewery in Chandler has a large patio available for private events.
For groups seeking to quaff a pint and dig into tasty cuisine in Tucson, Borderlands Brewing Co. recently teamed up with James Beard Award semifinalist Maria Mazon to open a new taproom in the Sam Hughes neighborhood near the University of Arizona. Mazon’s menu features authentic Sonoran cuisine that can be enjoyed with brews on a patio.
Borderlands’ original location in downtown Tucson’s historic Warehouse Arts District has a spacious outdoor venue with a stage that is used for live music, yoga and beer, and all sorts of events. It’s a perfect place to line up food trucks outside for a fun, casual gathering.
The classic three-story brick building in Reno that houses Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery was constructed in 1910 to serve as the headquarters for the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway. Today, the space skillfully fuses history with modern furnishings, stills, and brewing tanks that set the stage for memorable meetings and events, along with two large warehouses that are also available for gatherings.
The Depot’s beers all have personas, ranging from The Islander India pale ale (IPA) with pineapple and The Viking old-stock blonde barleywine to The Milkman cocoa milk stout and The Aviator session pale ale. Teams can have fun with a tasting and picking their favorite beer characters or do a sampling of whiskey, bourbon, and gin made on-site. The beer and spirits are crafted the same way, with a preference for local ingredients and respect for tradition and innovation.
Another option in Reno is The Brew Brothers, located within Eldorado Reno Hotel & Casino at The Row. Highlights include a stage for presenting live music and a large observation window for watching the brewers in action. Wood-fired pizzas, burgers, ribs, sandwiches, soups, and salads are among the menu items, and easy access to lodging and additional meeting and event space on-site is a big bonus.
Beer lovers are sure to enjoy the oldest brewery in Nevada, Great Basin Brewing Co., founded 30 years ago in Sparks by Tom and Bonda Young. Savor year-round brews like the Leave No Trace alpine lager, Firelit Haze hazy IPA, Sun Smack’d blood orange blonde ale, and seasonals such as Truckee River Red red ale or Cerveza Chilebeso golden ale with
fresh jalapeno peppers.
The brewing and culinary teams use as many sustainably grown and locally sourced ingredients as possible, and many of the dishes on the menu feature Great Basin’s beer and byproducts as ingredients. For example, Icky Bread is made from the spent grain used to brew Icky IPA, and the bratwurst sausage is made using the company’s beer. Or try out the onion rings coated in Wild Horse amber ale batter.
“We have a ton of event space options between our three brewpubs and our production brewery and taproom,” says Brennan Best, marketing director for Local Food Group, which owns Great Basin. “Between the locations, we can accommodate almost anything you can throw at us as far as events go. We have private dining rooms, restaurant buyout options, and, at the production facility, we even host live music.”